barthelemy

Statue of St. Bartholomew, with his own skin, by Marco d'Agrate, 1562 (Duomo di Milano)

“St Bartholomew was one of 12 Apostles and an early Christian martyr. Christian tradition has three stories about Bartholomew’s death : "One speaks of his being kidnapped, beaten unconscious, and cast into the sea to drown. Another account states that he was crucified upside down, and another says that he was skinned alive and beheaded in Albac or Albanopolis”, near Başkale, Turkey. The account of Bartholomew being skinned alive is the most represented in works of art, and consequently Bartholomew is often shown with a large knife, holding his own skin (as in Michelangelo’s Last Judgment), or both. Bartholomew is also the patron saint of tanners.“

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Matteo di Giovanni, The Apostle Bartholomew, circa 1480 (The painting was earlier attributed to Antonio del Pollaiolo)

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Detail of Michelangelo’s The Last Judgment, created between 1536 and 1541

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Anatomical illustration in Juan de Valverde, La anatomia del corpo umano, 1586

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Damien Hirst, Saint Bartholomew, Exquisite Pain (silver), 2007